Coughlin Brothers Are Ready For Battle The Pro Stock Truck class began their second day of qualifying for the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals. Yesterday NHRA's newest professional category had two qualifying sessions, which proved to give teams...
Coughlin Brothers Are Ready For Battle
The Pro Stock Truck class began their second day of qualifying for the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals. Yesterday NHRA's newest professional category had two qualifying sessions, which proved to give teams a better idea of what they would have to contend with today.
The sun filled blue sky's above set the stage for the final day of qualifying for the Pro Stock Trucks. All thirty-eight drivers worked toward getting in the elite field of the "quick sixteen." Mike started the day sitting in the number five position, while older brother John Coughlin sat in the number eighteen spot.
Mike and his #28 JEG'S Mail Order S-10 rolled up to the starting line in the right lane for the third session. Coughlin left the starting line and moved around as he drove down the track. Mike did not improve over his earlier qualifying time.
Mike noted, "We just did not make a very good run. We went the wrong way on the setup and the truck did not respond well to the changes that we made." Mike slipped down to the number seven spot.
John began the third qualifying session sitting in the number eighteen spot. The #31 yellow and black JEG'S S-10 took on the left lane. John shot off of the starting line and cruised down the middle of the groove to the big end. The run that he made was an improvement in qualifying time, but he slipped to the number twenty spot.
John said, "The guys made a lot of changes to the truck going into the third session. After having one run under our belt the changes that we made are getting us closer to where we need to be."
All of the Pro Stock Truck teams and drivers were eager to run their final qualifying session, which sounds odd. However, the weather conditions improved drastically. The air temperature was 4 degrees better and the corrected altitude was 2543' feet above sea-level (a 331' foot improvement).
Mike came into the final qualifying session sitting in the number seven position. Knowing that the conditions had improved the team was very excited to run the session.
The #28 JEG'S Mail Order Chevy S-10 charged off of the starting line and headed toward the big end. The truck made some minor moves, but the chassis seemed unaffected. Mike makes a big qualifying time improvement and moves up to the number five position.
Mike will take on '98 Pro Stock Truck Champion Larry Kopp in round one, Coughlin will have lane choice. Coughlin said, "Our program is on track and the team is really fired up for raceday. I'm looking forward to racing Kopp, I made a mistake against him last time we raced and I told myself I would never make that same mistake again!"
John sat on the outside looking in going into the final qualifying session. The team continued to make big changes to John's setup before running, which is a major thing to do when you have one chance remaining to make the show.
The '99 NHRA "Rookie of the Year" front-runner pulled up to the starting line like it was business as usual. John rocketed from the starting line and left all of the doubts of not making the field behind him. John marched up to the number eight position and will have lane choice against Tim Freeman in round one.
John stated, "I was a little nervous going into the final session, but we have a great team and I put all of my trust in them. The guys did a great job!" Coughlin sits in number eleven spot in the NHRA Winston Championship points. He is trailing Jerry Haas, who failed to qualify. Coughlin commented, "I certainly have an opportunity to move up in the points and our team is ready for the task."
The Pro Stock Truck class will run the first and second rounds of competition tomorrow. There are sixteen drivers who want nothing more then to walk away with a win under their belt.